Saudia: transformation and dual brand strategy drive rapid growth

Saudia has achieved significant market share gains as the airline group has accelerated expansion under its ambitious transformation programme. In 2018 Saudia captured almost 40% of Saudi Arabia’s international market – both in the scheduled and the non-scheduled religious pilgrimage segments – and the group’s domestic share increased to around 75%, ending several years of declines. 

Saudia has accelerated international growth at the parent full service brand and has been using its new LCC subsidiary flyadeal to accelerate growth in the domestic market. The group has renewed and expanded its fleet, with a staggering 88 aircraft deliveries in just three years.

The group will continue to take delivery of aircraft at a rapid rate over the next several years following a commitment for at least 30 737 MAX 8s that was announced by flyadeal on 21-Dec-2018. Both brands are planning rapid narrowbody growth; Saudia will take over the A320ceos now operated by flyadeal and is also acquiring at least 30 A320neo family aircraft. 

Saudia is among the 30 largest airlines in the world and is now also among the top 25 airline groups (based on seat capacity). The Saudia Group’s scheduled weekly seat capacity will exceed one million in 2019 and its scheduled passenger traffic should reach 40 million. In 2015, just prior to the start of the transformation programme, Saudia carried only 28 million passengers.

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